Ind vs Eng 3rd Test: Root takes first fifer as India bowled out for 145, hosts are 33 runs ahead

Ind vs Eng 3rd Test: India lost seven wickets in 20.2 overs in the first session of the second day of the pink-Test against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday as the visitors rode on skipper Joe Root’s maiden fifer to roar right back into the game. In the end, the hosts managed just 145 in their first essay — a lead of 33 runs.

Root has become the first England skipper since Bob Willis in 1983 to take a Test fifer and his figures of 5/8 from 6.2 overs reminded many of the spell from former Australia batsman Michael Clarke. Handed the ball by Ricky Ponting in the second innings of the Mumbai Test in 2004, Clarke finished with figures of 6/9 from 6.2 overs.

Coming back to the third Test, the end of the Indian innings saw the umpires call for early Tea. If it was Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin who spun a web over the English batsmen on the opening day, it was the turn of Root and Jack Leach to do the same on Thursday as they picked nine wickets among them.

While Root picked a fifer, Leach finished with figures of 4/54 from his 20 overs as Rohit Sharma (66) was the best batsman on display for the hosts.

The rest had no answer to Root and Leach on a wicket that was turning square at times on the second afternoon. Interestingly though, the ball that didn’t turn caused much damage on the first two days as the batsmen have found it tough to adapt to the skidding pink ball.

Starting the day on 99/3, Rohit did not have Ajinkya Rahane’s company for long as India’s Test deputy was out for 7 minutes after passing England’s first innings total. His lack of consistency will be a concern for the team management.

While Leach got the ball to skid onto Rahane and the batsman faltered by going back to a full ball, Rohit was the next to go as he missed a sweep off the left-arm spinner.

It was the Root show after that as he started with the wicket of dangerman Rishabh Pant. While Pant pushed away from the body and was caught by keeper Foakes, Washington Sundar and Axar Patel went back in quick succession without bothering the scorers.

While Sundar was a classic off-spinner dismissal for Root, Axar tried to attack the spinner from the word go and ended up giving a simple catch to Sibley at short extra cover.

Ashwin and Ishant Sharma did try their bit as they hit 17 and 10* respectively, but it was clearly Root’s afternoon as the Indian lower-order had no answer to his disciplined effort.

Brief Scores: England 112 (Zak Crawley 53; Axar Patel 6-38); India 145 (Rohit Sharma 66; Joe Root 5/8).


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